Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
This is understandable, and many people find that these symptoms disappear in a relatively short period of time. But if your problems last for longer than a month, or are very extreme, you may be given a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Causes of PTSD:

The type of events that can cause PTSD include:

  • serious road accidents
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • military combat

The situations we find traumatic can vary from person to person and different events can lead to PTSD. It may be that your responses have been bottled up for a long time after the traumatic event has passed. Your problems may only emerge months or sometimes years after a traumatic experience, affecting your ability to lead your life as you’d like to.

Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. Any of the following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment.
  • Psychotherapy – such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Find psychotherapy services near you.
  • Antidepressants – such as paroxetine or mirtazapine.

 


Poisoning is when a person is exposed to a substance that can damage their health or endanger their life. In 2013-14, almost 150,000 people were admitted to hospital with poisoning in England. Most cases of poisoning happen at home and children under five have the highest risk of accidental poisoning.

If you suspect that a child has swallowed any sort of poison – that includes bleach, paint stripper and washing-up liquid – call 999 immediately. likely symptoms include:

  • Vomiting (sometimes bloodstained)
  • Burning pain
  • Drifting into unconsciousness
  • Confusion

If they’re showing signs of being seriously ill, such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, drowsiness or seizures (fits), call 999 to request an ambulance or take the person to your local A&E department. It would be a good idea to ask the child what they drank or ate, and if possible bring the container with you in the ambulance so doctors know what they are dealing with. While waiting with the child DO NOT make them sick, keep them warm and reassure them until help arrives.

Types of poisons:

Poisons can be swallowed, absorbed through the skin, inhaled, splashed into the eyes, or injected.

  • household products, such as bleach
  • cosmetic items, such as nail polish
  • some types of plants and fungi
  • certain types of household chemicals and pesticides
  • poorly prepared or cooked food, and food that’s gone mouldy or been contaminated with bacteria from raw meat (food poisoning)
  • alcohol, if an excessive amount is consumed over a short period of time (alcohol poisoning)

Another very common type of poisoning can be through prescriptions drugs such as antidepressants and paracetamol, this can often be accidental but can be life threatening if not treated quickly and effectively.